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El Camino Memorial - Encinitas
340 Melrose Ave
Encinitas, CA 92024
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Shirley Gladys Simmons


1924 - 2013 | Obituary Condolences
Shirley Gladys Simmons Obituary
Simmons, Shirley Gladys 02/19/1924 ~ 05/09/2013 SAN DIEGO -- Shirley Simmons, 89, passed away May 9, 2013, at Scripps Memorial Hospital. Shirley was buried on May 13th, 2013, at El Camino Memorial, with full military honors as she was a veteran during WWII. She was born on February 19, 1924 in Syracuse, New York, to Cornelius Herbert Stapleton and Gladys Klein Stapleton. Her mother passed away when she was only seven years old and left Shirley to raise her younger brother Dick. Her father worked for the FBI. She had two loving sets of grandparents. One was Irish and the other was German. What a beautiful combination of cultures to have and to teach your grandchildren. She graduated from Rosary High School and went on to work at Western Union before joining the Marines. Her favorite story was when she joined the Marines, her grandmother was so worried. Her grandfather laughed and said, "Don't worry, the Japanese will surrender the minute she enlists"...and they did. As a Marine, she worked at the Pentagon as a legal secretary, where she met William Simmons. Bill was in the Navy, going to deep sea diving school, and was stationed next to Shirley's barrack in Henderson Hall. They fell in love and got married... Their song was "Let it Snow." That was their philosophy. No matter what is going on outside in the world...it didn't matter, they had each other. Together they moved from one military town to another and had four daughters: Joyce Green of Lakeside was born in Maryland, Patricia Simmons of Rancho Santa Fe was born in Panama, Nancy Rundberg of Jamul was born in Virginia and Cheryl Richie of Encinitas was born in Florida.They settled down in San Diego and it became their home. Shirley and Bill were married 59 years when he passed away December 22, 2005. She is survived by her four daughters, two son-in-laws and 21 grandchildren. Shirley felt her best accomplishment was being a devoted wife and mother. She was the room mother, the brownie leader and the center of the family. She loved being a mom...and then loved being a grandmother...to all 21 grandchildren. Shirley was also proud to be a member of the Women Marine Association and is listed on the memorial in Washington, D.C. As each friend was told of her passing, everyone had the same answer..."I will never forget her laughter." ~ ~ Don't think of her as gone away- Her journey's just begun Life holds so many facets- This earth is only one. Just think of her as resting From the sorrows and the tears In a place of warmth and comfort Where there are no days and years. Think how she must be wishing That we could know today How nothing but our sadness Can really pass away. And think of her as living in the hearts of those she touched... For nothing loved is ever lost- and she was loved so much. -Ellen Brenneman

Published in U-T San Diego from May 26 to June 1, 2013
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